Let them explore when they show an interest. Keep second spoon handy. With my children, I worked backwards. I would let them hold the spoon and bring it to their mouth with the food already in it, then fill the 2nd spoon and replace the empty spoon with the one with food in it. That way they were ready to give up the empty one because they were getting another (no fighting). Once they got the hang of putting the full spoon in their mouth, I let them explore scooping. Of course they are going to try to scoop even before they are coordinated enough, let them, but have that other spoon handy already filled so they don't get frustrated.
at 7:19 PM on Oct. 14, 2008